It amazes me how many otherwise smart business owners really have no clue about all this “online stuff.” I guess I should be happy because those are the very same people who hire me as a consultant to fix up their underperforming websites. Today, however, I want to give you some tips any small business owner can use to get more online traffic and leads free of charge.
None of this stuff is rocket science and none of it will take very long to do, but you do have to do it. Here are a few simple changes you can try.
1) Your Business Name Is NOT The Title Of Your Website
If you hired a website designer to build your website or worse, did it in house, the title of your website is probably your business name. If you were on trial for poor online marketing practices, this would be exhibit A and I would need nor further evidence to show that your business was probably clueless about the basics of online marketing.
The only exception here is if you are the pre-eminent, top of mind, business in your area. By that I mean that in your area, you what Coke is to soft drinks, McDonald’s is to fast food, or Google is to search engines.
If you’re not (and you’re probably not), however, then you need to describe your business in the title of your website. You can use your business name at the END of the title but not at the beginning.
For example, if you did landscaping and were based in Omaha, Nebraska, you’d want your title to look something like this:
Landscaping Services in Omaha, NE – Design and Maintenance
However, the vast majority of business owners do something like this:
Giorgio’s Land Artistry
That’s only useful to me if I’m searching for your business by name. And here’s the kicker, even if I am searching for the name of your business, I’ll still find your website even if you use the first title because you’re probably the only business in the area with that particular name so why not widen your net to capture more leads?
2) Just because you built it, doesn’t mean they’ll come.
Your website isn’t like the field of dreams. If you don’t tell anyone about it or promote it, don’t expect it to get visitors or help you get more customers. Think of it this way. If you were were going to open up an ice cream stand in the middle of nowhere, how would you get people to try it out? You’d have to tell people and promote it, right?
Think of launching a website the same way. Your website is a tiny little island in a vast ocean of other websites. You need to take steps to promote your website so that it gets noticed by search engines like Google. Even something as simple as issuing a press release can kick off the process of getting people to your website.
3) Embrace Social Media
In the restaurant business, they say the key is “location, location, location.” Well, I wish it were that simple online, but it does make sense to make sure your business has a presence where all the people are. These days entire businesses are being built just by using Facebook and Twitter. For example, with over 500 million users, a lot of your potential customers are already using Facebook. That means you should at the very least have a Facebook Fanpage for your business so you can get your business in front of them.